MoRoNet: the Italian Network for measles and rubella 


High-quality laboratory investigations are critical to understand the impact of a country’s vaccination program on the prevalence and spread of the disease. In fact, suspected measles and rubella cases could be caused by other pathogens that have similar clinical symptoms, allergic reactions to drugs or food, or even related to stress. Testing appropriate biological samples for the presence of IgM antibodies or viral RNA is the only way to confirm if we are in the presence of a real case of measles or rubella. To achieve the elimination goal, it is necessary to have an effective surveillance system.

For this reason, since 2002 the World Health Organization (WHO) has established LabNET, the network of European laboratories for Measles and Rubella, in order to guarantee a timely and reliable confirmation of cases and outbreaks.

In Italy, the National Reference Laboratory for Measles and Rubella (LNR), accredited member of LabNET, is located at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità.

To improve the surveillance system, the LNR, since 2017 established a national network of reference laboratories for measles and rubella – MoRoNet. The main aim of MoRoNet is to provide the country with a surveillance system that meets the WHO requirements. MoRoNet is coordinated by the LNR, which acts as the interface of the WHO European Regional Laboratory. MoRoNet currently includes 15 regional reference laboratories in 14 of the 21 Regions / PAs.

Performance evaluation

In order to evaluate the performance of the participating regional laboratories, the LNR coordinates the network with an annual accreditation review based mainly on:

  • workload 
  • timely and completeness of transmission of laboratory data, including genotyping data through the area reserved to each sub-national laboratory
  • an external quality control program
  • implementation of internal quality control procedures
  • the score from an on-site review, periodically carried out by the Network coordinator, the manager and / or delegated staff of the LNR

Coordinator of MoRoNet and head of NRL: Fabio Magurano
Molecular surveillance: Melissa Baggieri
Serological surveillance: Antonella Marchi
Diagnosis and sample management: Paola Bucci

Sub-national Reference Laboratories:
Emilia-Romagna: Tiziana Lazzarotto
Friuli Venezia Giulia: Pierlanfranco D’Agaro
Latium: Maria Rosaria Capobianchi
Liguria: Andrea Orsi
Lombardy, Milan: Antonella Amendola
Lombardy, Pavia: Fausto Baldanti
Marche: Katia Marinelli
P.A. Bolzano: Elisabetta Pagani
P.A. Trento: Paolo Lanzafame
Piedmont: Fabrizia Pittaluga, Alessandra Sacchi
Puglia: Maria Chironna
Sicily: Fabio Tramuto
Tuscany: Maria Grazia Cusi
Valle d’Aosta: Claudio Ciacomazzi
Veneto: Giorgio Palù

Read more visiting the page Roles and Functions